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Hit And Miss.
on 13 October 2011
This is an artist, (one of many) who I've seen in concert. He was amazing and so it gives me great pleasure to review his greatest hits album.
1. "Like To Get To Know You Well" : "Like to get to know you well, like to get to know you well.." will be ringing in your ears for long after listening to this tune. A strong opening track and very enjoyable. I really enjoy the Jamacan style steel drums deftly employed. The last fifty seconds of this number is fantastic, (a lot of powerful repitition, some of which I don't understand).
2. "New Song" : "I've been waiting for so long to come out and sing this song, oh don't be fooled by what you see, don't be fooled by what you hear."
"Don't crack up, mend your brain, see both sides, break off your mental chains."
The keyboard solo is absolutely amazing, and I love other subtle parts of this number.
"I don't want to be hip and cool, I don't want to play by the rules."
3. "What Is Love" : I believe Howard's first, (or indeed one of his earlier hits from 1984). If you were to ask someone, (who had actually heard of Howard Jones) to name one of his tracks then they would probably name this one. Over three mintues thirty seconds into this song we're treated to an extended solo, (which prior to downloading this album I'd never heard before), so take it all in and enjoy.
4. "Pearl In the Shell" : I find this song generally quite irritating, (well the start of it anyhow). Its just a Howard Jone's song that I like. (With so many of his lyrics I would like to know exactly what he is singing about!)
5. "Always Asking Questions" : And from one irritating song to another! That said I do prefer it to, "Pearl In The Shell." What it cleverly does is lead very nicely into the chorus.
"Why this, why that, always asking questions!"
With just over one and half minutes to go the last verse picks up nicely and the last thirty seconds are actually pretty good with some good sound effects.
6. "Life In One Day" : The opening sound notes actually sound like some sort of flute, (and interestingly the word flute is included in the lyrics). The lyrics on the chorus I find annoying and show some of the weakness exhibited in "Pearl In The Shell," and "Always Asking Questions." It actually seems like its giving advice, (as to whether this is tongue in cheek who knows) : "Don't try to live your life in day and speed your time away."
7. "You Know I Love You Don't You" : It seems like this is part of a real section of duff songs, I have very little interest in this duff number!
8. "Hide And Seek" : For me this is probably my favourite tune on the album.
I love these lyrics :
"Hope you find it in everything you see." (These get powerfully repeated where necessary throughout the song).
"There was a time when there was nothing at all, nothing at all, just a distant hum."
9. "Noone Is To Blame" : At this point proceedings mellow a bit. I don't like this number too, (I can't believe how many Howard Jones songs I in fact don't like, since I really like his big numbers as described above).
10. "Look Mama" : When I hear the start of this, I immediately think to myself, "Oh god.." yet it slightly redems itself. However not for me.
11. "The Prisoner" : "The Prisoner," starts with a violin and then goes into a wierd 80s section but then for me doesn't really deliever. That is the one aspect I enjoy the keyboard rift.
12. "Everlasting Love" : Right from the word go this number has a more serious pitch to it
"He wasn't looking for a pretty face. She wasn't searching for the latest style. He didn't want someone who had walked straight out of the tv. She needed someone with an interior smile. She wasn't looking for a cuddle on the back seat."
"I need an everlasting love, I need a friend and a lover to find."
The piano is amazingly simple but very effective and it really grows on me, all in all a good number.
13. "Lift Me Up" : The piano at the very start is good, there's some good sax playing going on.
"This is a man who has lost control. Stop me from falling, you know I need you. So lift me up. So won't you take me to a place and you can see I have always been waiting for you." I quite like the middle seven part too. (It appears that things have taken a turn for the better on the album). Its got a nice ending too :
"You know that I'm waiting for you."
14. "Tears To Tell" :
"When I heard you were leaving, it came as a shock and a surprise. What is the greatest expression? You've left me with tears."
"You know these feelings between us cannot be expressed."
"What is the greatest expression? - To let go?"
"But all these final feelings have left me with tears."
The keyboard rift sounds quite basic and I quite like it. Then the organ sound is good too.
15. "Two Souls" : From the start it sounds like a magnamous number.
"Its not too late to start over, to turn it around."
"Two Souls, there should be two souls together."
Theres a nice little keyboard rift. All in all its not a bad little song.
16. "I.G.Y." : My initial impression was coming the second from last album track it wouldn't be much cop.. and it isn't. One actual criticism I have of Howard Jones is his mediocre songs really are mediocre and sound the same, (in a poor way).
"What a beautiful world this could be. What a glorious time to be free."
17. "City Song" : Often I find with albums the last song is long and this is no exception to that rule. It reminds me of the last song from Dire straits' 1985 album, "Brothers In Arms," that's long but fantastic. (I wonder why that is??!) Its a good song, but this is another case of not being able to understand what Howard is singing!
"Where do all the lonely people go when they want some loving? Where do all the lonely people in this crowded city? Where do all the lonely people go, where is their sanctury?"
There's another simple and effective piano solo. A gospel choir sounding act sings Howard out to end this song and the album.